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As AG Garland Talks Fentanyl and Hate Crimes Court Transparency Duty of DOJ Come to Fore

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 27 – When US Attorney General Merrick Garland came to New York City on November 27 his stated focus was not on the financial crimes that consume so much media coverage but on guns and fentanyl and now, amid the Gaza war, hate crimes.  

Unmentioned, but by the Press outside, was the Department of Justice's duties on court transparency in their criminal cases.

Defendant after defendant, in asking to seal sentencing letters and even memo, says that "the Government takes no position." 

But it should. Take for example Binance's Changpeng Zhao's bond co-signers, still sealed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. These same suretor documents, Inner City Press filed to unseal as to Sam Bankman-Fried. Southern District of New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled that they had to be unsealed. But DOJ takes no position on CZ's?   

OneCoin co-founder Sebastian Greenwood filed all of his sentencing letters under seal, and SDNY prosecutors took no position. Now Inner City Press has filed a Notice of Appeal, and SDNY a notice of appearance. To keep the letters sealed?  

On November 28, we'll learn DOJ's position on the complete sealing of narco defendant Tomas Colon's sentencing memo. The list goes on.

Here is a pool summary of some of what AG Garland *did* say:

He welcomed the return of 4-year-old hostage Abigail Edan and said he hoped to see the return of more hostages. He said the DOJ stands ready to assist victims’ families.   Garland said the DOJ remains vigilant in the face of hate-fueled violence and terrorism, and said there has been a sharp increase in the volume and frequency of threats against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities across the country.  

Garland said the FBI and ATF were investigating the "tragic" shooting of three Palestinian men in Burlington, including whether it was a hate crime.   “No person and no community in this country should have to live with the fear of hate-fueled violence,” Garland said.  

  Law enforcement officials in attendance were NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban, U.S. Marshal Ralph Sozio, Christie Curtis, Robert Kissane, Anthony Bivona, Eric Reese, Paul Roberts, Frank Tarantino, Ivan Arevalo of HSI Investigations, Patrick Freaney, Thomas Fantorusso, John De Vito

Garland went on to discuss efforts to disrupt violent crime and fentanyl trafficking.   He said one of the defendants in the case involving the 1-year-old’s death in the Bronx daycare had fled to Mexico, but that the DOJ was able to secure his return to the United States.   He also mentioned the extradition of Juan Ovidio Guzman from the “Chapitos” case and the recent capture in Mexico of Nestor Perez, also known as “El Nini” and said the U.S. was seeking his extradition.

 But then OK with the sealing of financial affidavits and suretors?   Watch this site


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